When President Obama was putting his Cabinet together, there was much excited discussion among the intelligentsia about how he was assembling a “team of rivals,” JUST LIKE LINCOLN, bringing former enemies into his Cabinet in a magnanimous and statesmanlike act of reconciliation showing just what a good guy he was.
Obama had supposedly read the book by plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin, titled “Team of Rivals,” describing Lincoln’s assembly of his own Cabinet. This really had everyone in Washington and on PBS in a fit of ecstasy about their new hero who was assuming power. HE READS BOOKS, unlike that tacky Bush. HE TAKES IDEAS AND HISTORY SERIOUSLY. He forgives Hillary for the 3 am phone call and all her and Bill’s other bullshit.
No one seriously discussed whether these people were qualified for their posts. Hillary, beyond dashing to safety from Serb sniper fire, had absolutely no foreign policy experience. Former Democratic primary rival Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico was forced to withdraw as Obama’s Commerce Secretary nominee amid a contracting scandal.
With Obama’s horrifying 2010 Election Day drubbing, there is now talk here and there about whether he might incur a primary challenge. And so now another, less elevated rationale for Obama’s Hillary choice comes to mind. It’s the maxim of Sun-tzu, the ancient Chinese author of “The Art of War.” He wrote: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”
As his Secretary of State, it would be too titanic an act of perfidy, even for the Clintons, for her to turn around and challenge Obama in the primary. Were she not Secretary of State, there would be growing pressure for her to consider it.
Obama knew the economy might not rebound, that he might face trouble as his reelection neared, and that he might look like a weakened candidate. Perhaps the Hillary appointment was at least partially the work of Obama the calculating Chicago pol, and not Obama the selfless, forgiving intellectual.